Ricoh WG-6 vs Sony A7 III
The Ricoh WG-6 and the Sony Alpha A7 III are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in February 2019 and February 2018. The WG-6 is a fixed lens compact, while the A7 III is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (WG-6) and a full frame (A7 III) sensor. The Ricoh has a resolution of 20.2 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 24 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Ricoh WG-6||Sony A7 III|
|Fixed lens compact camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|28-140mm f/3.5-5.5||Sony E mount lenses|
|20.2 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor||24 MP, Full Frame Sensor|
|4K/30p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO 125-6,400||ISO 100-51,200 (50 - 204,800)|
|No viewfinder, LCD framing||Electronic viewfinder (2359k dots)|
|3.0 LCD, 1040k dots||3.0 LCD, 922k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Tilting touchscreen|
|1 shutter flaps per second||10 shutter flaps per second|
|no shake reduction||In-body stabilization|
|Waterproof body (nom)||Weathersealed body|
|340 shots per battery charge||610 shots per battery charge|
|118 x 66 x 33 mm, 246 g||127 x 96 x 74 mm, 650 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Ricoh WG-6 and the Sony Alpha A7 III? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Ricoh WG-6 and the Sony A7 III. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The WG-6 can be obtained in two different colors (black, orange), while the A7 III is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony A7 III is considerably larger (57 percent) than the Ricoh WG-6. In this context, it is worth noting that both cameras are splash and dust-proof and can, hence, be used in inclement weather conditions or harsh environments. More than that, the WG-6 is water-proof up to 20m and can, thus, be used for underwater photography.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the WG-6 has a lens built in, whereas the A7 III is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the A7 III and their specifications in the Sony FE Lens Catalog.
The battery packs of both cameras can be charged via USB, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.
|Ricoh WG-6||4.6 in||2.6 in||1.3 in||8.7 oz||340||Y||Feb 2019||399|
|Sony A7 III||5.0 in||3.8 in||2.9 in||22.9 oz||610||Y||Feb 2018||1,999|
|Canon SX740||4.3 in||2.5 in||1.6 in||10.5 oz||265||n||Jul 2018||399|
|Canon 6D Mark II||5.7 in||4.4 in||3.0 in||27.0 oz||1200||Y||Jun 2017||1,999|
|Canon SX730||4.3 in||2.5 in||1.6 in||10.6 oz||250||n||Apr 2017||399|
|Nikon W300||4.4 in||2.6 in||1.1 in||8.1 oz||280||Y||May 2017||389|
|Olympus TG-6||4.4 in||2.6 in||1.3 in||8.9 oz||340||Y||May 2019||449|
|Panasonic ZS80||4.4 in||2.7 in||1.7 in||11.5 oz||380||n||Feb 2019||449|
|Panasonic TS7||4.6 in||3.0 in||1.5 in||11.3 oz||300||Y||May 2018||449|
|Ricoh WG-60||4.8 in||2.4 in||1.2 in||6.8 oz||300||Y||Oct 2018||279|
|Sony A9 II||5.1 in||3.8 in||3.0 in||23.9 oz||690||Y||Oct 2019||4,499|
|Sony HX99||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.4 in||8.5 oz||370||n||Aug 2018||449|
|Sony HX95||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.4 in||8.5 oz||370||n||Aug 2018||429|
|Sony WX800||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.4 in||8.2 oz||370||n||Oct 2018||399|
|Sony A9||5.0 in||3.8 in||2.5 in||23.7 oz||650||Y||Apr 2017||4,499|
|Sony A7 II||5.0 in||3.8 in||2.4 in||21.1 oz||350||Y||Nov 2014||1,999|
|Sony A7||5.0 in||3.7 in||1.9 in||16.7 oz||340||Y||Oct 2013||1,699|
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The WG-6 was launched at a lower price than the A7 III, despite having a lens built in. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Ricoh WG-6 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Sony A7 III a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the A7 III is 2925 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 5.6 and 1.0. The sensor in the WG-6 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the A7 III offers a 3:2 aspect.
In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around BSI-CMOS sensors.
With 24MP, the A7 III offers a higher resolution than the WG-6 (20.2MP), but the A7 III nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.94μm versus 1.18μm for the WG-6) due to its larger sensor. However, the WG-6 is a somewhat more recent model (by 11 months) than the A7 III, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the WG-6 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Sony A7 III implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the A7 III for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30 x 20 inches or 76.2 x 50.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24 x 16 inches or 61 x 40.6 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20 x 13.3 inches or 50.8 x 33.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Ricoh WG-6 are 25.9 x 19.4 inches or 65.8 x 49.4 cm for good quality, 20.7 x 15.6 inches or 52.7 x 39.5 cm for very good quality, and 17.3 x 13 inches or 43.9 x 32.9 cm for excellent quality prints.
The A7 III has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
The Ricoh WG-6 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 125 to ISO 6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Alpha A7 III are ISO 100 to ISO 51200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 50-204800.
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|Sony A7 III||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||25.0||14.7||3730||96|
|Canon 6D Mark II||Full Frame||26.0||6240||4160||1080/60p||24.4||11.9||2862||85|
|Sony A9 II||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||25.0||14.0||3434||93|
|Sony A9||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||24.9||13.3||3517||92|
|Sony A7 II||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.9||13.6||2449||90|
|Sony A7||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.8||14.2||2248||90|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, and both provide the same movie specifications (4K/30p).
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the A7 III has an electronic viewfinder (2359k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the WG-6 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Ricoh WG-6 and Sony A7 III along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|Sony A7 III||2359||n||3.0||922||tilting||Y||1/8000s||10.0||n||Y|
|Canon 6D Mark II||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||6.5||n||n|
|Sony A9 II||3686||n||3.0||1440||tilting||Y||1/8000s||10.0||n||Y|
|Sony A7 II||2400||n||3.0||1230||tilting||n||1/8000s||5.0||n||Y|
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The WG-6 has one, while the A7 III does not. While the built-in flash of the WG-6 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.
The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the A7 III is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
The Ricoh WG-6 and the Sony A7 III both have an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
The WG-6 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the A7 III uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. The A7 III features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the WG-6 only has one slot. The A7 III supports UHS-II cards on its first slot and UHS-I on its second one, while the WG-6 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Ricoh WG-6 and Sony Alpha A7 III and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
|Sony A7 III||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||Y||Y|
|Canon 6D Mark II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|Sony A9 II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||Y||Y|
|Sony A7 II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
It is notable that the A7 III offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the WG-6 does not provide wifi capability.
Travel and landscape photographers will find it useful that the WG-6 has an internal geolocalization sensor and can record GPS coordinates in its EXIF data.
Both the WG-6 and the A7 III are recent models that are part of the current product line-up. The A7 III replaced the earlier Sony A7 II, while the WG-6 followed on from the Ricoh WG-5. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Ricoh and Sony websites.
So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Ricoh WG-6 and the Sony A7 III? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Advantages of the Ricoh WG-6:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 922k dots).
- Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the A7 III requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (118x66mm vs 127x96mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the A7 III).
- Water-proof: Is rugged and sealed and can thus be used for underwater photography (up to 20m).
- Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
- Easier geotagging: Features an internal GPS sensor to log localization data.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 11 months after the A7 III).
Arguments in favor of the Sony Alpha A7 III:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 20.2MP), which boosts linear resolution by 11%.
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
- Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
- Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 1 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (610 versus 340) out of a single battery charge.
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
- Faster buffer clearing: Supports Ultra High Speed (UHS-II and UHS-I) SDXC cards.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in February 2018).
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the A7 III is the clear winner of the contest (25 : 10 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Ricoh WG-6 and the Sony A7 III place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the WG-6 and the A7 III in practical situations. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|Ricoh WG-6||..||..||3.5/5||..||3.5/5||Feb 2019||399|
|Sony A7 III||+ +||89/100||5/5||5/5||5/5||Feb 2018||1,999|
|Canon SX740||+||..||4/5||..||4/5||Jul 2018||399|
|Canon 6D Mark II||+||80/100||4.5/5||4/5||4/5||Jun 2017||1,999|
|Canon SX730||+||..||4/5||..||4/5||Apr 2017||399|
|Nikon W300||+||..||4/5||..||4/5||May 2017||389|
|Olympus TG-6||+ +||76/100||4/5||..||4/5||May 2019||449|
|Panasonic ZS80||+ +||..||4.5/5||..||..||Feb 2019||449|
|Panasonic TS7||+||..||..||..||3.5/5||May 2018||449|
|Ricoh WG-60||..||..||..||..||..||Oct 2018||279|
|Sony A9 II||..||90/100||5/5||..||5/5||Oct 2019||4,499|
|Sony HX99||..||..||4/5||..||4.5/5||Aug 2018||449|
|Sony HX95||..||..||..||..||..||Aug 2018||429|
|Sony WX800||..||..||..||..||..||Oct 2018||399|
|Sony A9||+ +||89/100||5/5||5/5||5/5||Apr 2017||4,499|
|Sony A7 II||+||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Nov 2014||1,999|
|Sony A7||+ +||80/100||5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Oct 2013||1,699|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
- Canon G12 vs Ricoh WG-6
- Canon G9 X Mark II vs Ricoh WG-6
- Canon T7i vs Ricoh WG-6
- Leica M-E Typ 240 vs Sony A7 III
- Leica V-LUX 5 vs Ricoh WG-6
- Nikon D3100 vs Ricoh WG-6
- Nikon D5500 vs Ricoh WG-6
- Nikon D610 vs Ricoh WG-6
- Nikon D80 vs Ricoh WG-6
- Olympus E-M1 II vs Sony A7 III
- Ricoh WG-6 vs Sony RX1R II
- Sony A7 III vs Sony NEX-F3
Specifications: Ricoh WG-6 vs Sony A7 III
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Ricoh WG-6||Sony A7 III|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||28-140mm f/3.5-5.5||Sony E mount lenses|
|Launch Date||February 2019||February 2018|
|Launch Price||USD 399||USD 1,999|
|Sensor Specs||Ricoh WG-6||Sony A7 III|
|Sensor Format||1/2.3" Sensor||Full Frame Sensor|
|Sensor Size||6.17 x 4.55 mm||35.6 x 23.8 mm|
|Sensor Area||28.0735 mm2||847.28 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||7.7 mm||42.8 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||20.2 Megapixels||24 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5184 x 3888 pixels||6000 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.18 μm||5.94 μm|
|Pixel Density||71.80 MP/cm2||2.83 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/30p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||125 - 6,400 ISO||100 - 51,200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||50 - 204,800 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||96|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||25.0|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||14.7|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||3730|
|Screen Specs||Ricoh WG-6||Sony A7 III|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2359k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||922k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Tilting screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Ricoh WG-6||Sony A7 III|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||On-Sensor Phase-detect|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000s||1/8000s|
|Continuous Shooting||1 shutter flaps/s||10 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||no E-Shutter||YES|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||Intervalometer built-in|
|Image Stabilization||no shake reduction||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||MS or SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Dual card slots|
|UHS card support||no||Single UHS-II|
|Connectivity Specs||Ricoh WG-6||Sony A7 III|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 3.0||USB 3.1|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Headphone Socket||no Headphone port||Headphone port|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||no Bluetooth||Bluetooth built-in|
|Geotagging||GPS built-in||no internal GPS|
|Body Specs||Ricoh WG-6||Sony A7 III|
|Environmental Sealing||Waterproof body (20m)||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||340 shots per charge||610 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||USB charging|
118 x 66 x 33 mm
(4.6 x 2.6 x 1.3 in)
127 x 96 x 74 mm
(5.0 x 3.8 x 2.9 in)
|Camera Weight||246 g (8.7 oz)||650 g (22.9 oz)|
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